Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized nationally every year, September 15 - October 15. The observance honors the history and culture of Hispanic and Latin Americans in the U.S. whose ancestors derive from Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
Throughout the month, LifeLink of Florida will also focus on educating the Hispanic/Latino community about the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation. Nationally there are more than 21,000 Hispanic/Latinos awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant, more than 80% of which are waiting for a kidney transplant. Multicultural groups such as Hispanics/Latinos suffer from diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure at higher rates than their Caucasian counterparts which could put them at greater risk of experiencing end stage renal disease and the need for a transplant. Despite the great need in the community, in 2020 Hispanics/Latinos made up only 14.6% of all deceased donors in the U.S.
LifeLink of Florida will launch a social media campaign to highlight stories of Hispanic/Latino recipients and donor families as well as celebrate Hispanic/Latino professionals across the United States dedicated to the lifesaving work of donation and transplantation. In addition, LifeLink will provide education about the organ and tissue donation process through a Spanish animated video, and host a livestream with Dr. Martin Aldana, a transplant nephrologist with the Florida Kidney Physicians Group. Dr. Aldana will share information about diabetes in the Hispanic community and ways individuals can reduce their risk of contracting the disease.
Through education and outreach efforts such as during Hispanic Heritage Month, LifeLink of Florida works to build trust within all the multicultural communities we serve such as the Hispanic/Latino community to increase donor registration over time. LifeLink of Florida serves 15 counties in West Florida, many of which have large Hispanic/Latino communities of largely Cuban or Puerto Rican descent as well as Mexican and other Central American nationalities.
You can also register to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor by visiting www.LifeLinkFoundation.org. Don’t forget to share your donation decision with your family and friends.